Baked products are exposed to high temperatures from ovens. Taking into account that almost all baked products have ignition temperatures very close to the average oven operation temperature, there is a constant latent risk that products will burn.
This risk increases due to the accumulation of grease, oil, crumbs, and dust, possible failures in the temperature control of ovens, and maintenance issues. This can lead to overheated baked products or flames in/around the oven, resulting into possible damages of the process, as well as bad product quality and possible fire problems in the storage area.
Risks vary depending upon the type of oven your facility uses. Most bakery manufacturing processes use either a convection oven, direct gas oven, or hybrid oven. Convection ovens are very efficient as a means to bake, however, they pose increased risks due to a lack of humidity control in the product. Direct gas ovens are common in the baking industry, however, older models increase the risk of fires due to op0eration and control failures. Hybrid ovens are specific to the process. Similar to the problem found in using older gas ovens, older hybrid models pose fire threats due to operational failures.
Baking temperatures are also variables to consider, when evaluating your baking fire risks. Low-risk temperatures, those processes operating below 250° are considered pre-baking products. These processes operate in the range of 190-220°C and initially pose a lower risk. Meidum risk temperatures live around 250° C – 260° C, and are fully baked when reaching 245-260°C. The greatest risk is when a process exceeds 260°C.
Product type and ingredients also influence the risk of fire. Dry materials or fats, such as oil and butter, pose an increased risk. The sweetness level, or the amount of sugar or other sweet additives, also influences the risk of fire.
Overall areas in the process that offer concern will are highlighted in the next section, however some general common problem areas are found anywhere there might be an accumulation of grease, oil, crumbs and dust in combination with the higher oxygen level can cause a fire in the outlet of the oven. The fire can easily spread through the ducts and to the rest of the building. Another general cause for concern exists when a product stops in the oven due to failure. Products that are glowing or are on fire can imply problems later in the process, as for example in the cooler and/or in the storage area. Also, attention and planning should be considered with transport bands. The transport band can be damaged by overheated, glowing or burning products.